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World Enough And Time

ShowDoctor Who / Series X / Episode 12
First Broadcast2017/06/25 - 19:40 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeThe Eaters Of Light
Next EpisodeThe Doctor Falls

The Doctor, Bill, Nardole and Missy arrive on a truly massive spaceship that is trying to escape a black hole. For reasons that become apparent later, Missy leads out Bill and Nardole, pretending to fulfil the role of the Doctor. In a marvellous in-joke, she refers to them as exposition and comic relief. The rather humorous beginning quickly turns macabre as Bill is shot and killed, her heart blown away. Or is she really dead? Beings arrive and take her away, apparently with the ability to save her.

The sheer size of the ship means that time dilation is very significant between the front and back of the ship. This forms the crux of the story as time passes much faster for Bill than it does for the rest of the team. Bill befriends Razor and she observes the hospital's very creepy patients. It soon becomes fairly clear that the humans are converting themselves into cyborgs in order to survive. It doesn't take much imagination to see where this is heading.

The Doctor, Missy and Nardole finally make it to Bill's level. However much time (years?) has passed and the place seems deserted. Razor talks to Missy as she tries to determine where the ship is from. Razor insists that Missy has been here before and she should remember. Further, the Doctor will never forgive her for what she did to Bill. Missy is equally insistent that has never been here. Eventually this debate climaxes with Razor revealing himself to be the Master.

Elsewhere a cyborg that the Doctor quickly realises is a Mondasian cyberman comes forth. The Doctor asks it to search for Bill Potts and we discover to our horror (but not really to our surprise) that the cyberman is Bill. The Master and Missy join the Doctor and tell him that this is the genesis of the Cybermen.

This was a very good episode with a solid plot and some big surprises. Now try and imagine what it would have been like if we didn't know John Simm would return as the Master and the hints about Mondasian cybermen during the episode has been more subtle. Now that would have been something. Nonetheless it was still very enjoyable.

It was great to see two incarnations of the Master in one episode. Given the number of times we've seen more than incarnation of the Doctor, it's almost surprising this hasn't been done before. The revelation harked back to the classic series, both in the Master's use of a disguise and his goatee. The unusual title of this episode is apparently a quote from a poem called To His Coy Mistress. Is this simply an allusion to the Master (as Missy) or is there something more to it? Perhaps something around not enough time?

So what's next? Does the Master spoil Missy's rehabilitation? What's in store for Bill? For the Doctor? So much to look forward to in the series finale.